Posted 06/10/2015 at 8:15 AM
Posted 2 years ago
Only moments after President Barack Obama signed off on legislation that would put a halt to the bulk telephone data collection that was exposed by whistleblower Edward Snowden and overseen by the National Security Agency, it appears that the Justice Department has other ideas.
In a Justice Department memo that was released on Monday, approval was given for the program to continue to the Federal Intelligence Surveillance Court.
The approval was granted in the vein of having an “orderly transition” to a program that would be less intrusive in terms of citizens’ privacy.
The transition period would last for six months in total.
The memorandum is the Justice Department’s legal explanation for the continuance of the program.
The department also advised the FISA court to disregard a federal appellate court’s decision that made the bulk data program illegal, saying the previous judgments “do not constitute controlling precedent for this Court.”
The recently signed USA Freedoms Act does allow for this collection to continue, if there is reasonable suspicion of relevance to terrorist activity in the phone records and if one of the parties contacted is overseas.